Featured Post

Featured Post

Some Counterintuitive Thoughts on Monetary Policy

By Scott Sumner | Apr 15 2024
Here are five observations about recent trends in monetary policy: 1.  The Fed would really like to avoid any further increase in interest rates. This psychological aversion to interest rate increases in not rational, and it actually makes it more likely that the Fed will find it necessary to raise interest rates even further.  That’s ...

More 30 Comments

Related Post

The Anti-Chinese Roots of American Public Policy

By Scott Sumner | Apr 12 2024

Today, residential zoning, drug prohibition, and restrictions on legal immigration are three of America’s most consequential public policies. As we will see, all three began in California, and all three were explicitly motivated by extreme anti-Chinese bigotry.  All three policies were intended to exclude “undesirables”. To be clear, I am not suggesting that modern proponents .. MORE

Featured Comment

Is Millei giving a positive message that Argentina may have pain in the short run but if they stay the course they can join the USA, Switzerland and Germany near the top in per capita..

Floccina, April 13

Most Recent

Business Economics

Robert Hessen RIP

By David Henderson | Apr 18, 2024 | 0

Economic and business historian Robert Hessen died on Monday, April 15 at age 87. I wrote some reminiscences of him on my Substack site, “I Blog to Differ.” Here I want to link to his 2 contributions to my Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. One is his article “Corporations.” Here are two key paragraphs. Here’s a .. MORE

Cross-country Comparisons

Now do Japan

By Scott Sumner | Apr 18, 2024 | 0

I have frequently argued that China has the world’s largest economy, at least if measured in PPP terms. (Of course in per capita terms they are still only a middle-income country.)  Others insist on using market exchange rates, which suggest the US economy is still significantly larger. Fair enough. But you need to be careful .. MORE

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings

On Fairness – Aesop vs Sesame Street

By Kevin Corcoran | Apr 18, 2024 | 0

The YouTube algorithm is a mysterious thing. It’s supposed to recommend videos you might like, based on videos you’ve watched and rated before, but as far as I can tell the recommendations are generated randomly by a half-asleep chimpanzee. Still, just as broken clocks are still right twice a day, random suggestions can manage to .. MORE

Game Theory

Prisoner’s Dilemma: A Simple Model of War

By Pierre Lemieux | Apr 17, 2024 | 22

Economic models of cooperation and conflict are often based on the Prisoner’s Dilemma (PD) of game theory. As simple as this model is, it helps us understand whether or not a war will be fought, where “fought” includes escalation steps through retaliation—the current situation between the government of Israël and the government of Iran. Assume .. MORE

International Trade

Why the Status Quo Matters

By Jon Murphy | Apr 17, 2024 | 4

In an earlier post, I listed some questions for interventionists to consider before advocating their interventions.  This is part of my ongoing crusade to get interventionists to think about things as they actually are as opposed to a blank slate.  These two modes of thinking I call “status quo reasoning” (seeing the world as it .. MORE


Hey teacher, call on me!

By Scott Sumner | Apr 16, 2024 | 20

Do you recall that student back in middle school, frantically waving his hand trying to get the teacher to call on him? That’s how I feel when I read the following sort of news story: As the US economy hums along month after month, minting hundreds of thousands of new jobs and confounding experts who .. MORE

View More


Explore the lasting legacies and
continued relevance of our classic titles.

Browse Articles


Bloggers David Henderson, Alberto Mingardi, Scott Sumner, Pierre Lemieux, Kevin Corcoran, and guests write on topical economics of interest to them, illuminating subjects from politics and finance, to recent films and cultural observations, to history and literature.

Browse our archive of posts by author last name

Book Club

Economics of Crime

The Road to Serfdom 65

The housing sector in Irvine, California is booming, partly due to an inflow of investment from China. When I ask Chinese acquaintances where the money comes from, they suggest that it is transferred to the US through mysterious channels. Commenter Ahmed Fares directed me to a Daily Mail story that sheds light on one such .. MORE

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings

Social Control at the School for Good Mothers 3

Jessamine Chan’s 2022 novel The School for Good Mothers (New York: Simon & Schuster) constructs a bureaucratic dystopia in which unfit parents—mostly mothers, but not all—are ordered by family courts into a re-education camp run by Child Protective Services. Perhaps the most chilling part of the narrative is how easy it is to imagine a .. MORE

Energy, Environment, Resources

Conservation Through Capitalism 4

I recently stumbled across a news story that highlights something about capitalism and the profit motive that is underappreciated by the very people who most loudly clamor for it – the conservation of resources. Capitalism doesn’t merely incentivize maximizing output – it also incentivizes minimizing the use of inputs as well. If you want to .. MORE

Book Reviews and Suggested Readings

Individualism versus Racism

By Arnold Kling

Similarly, to advocate colorblindness is not to pretend you don’t notice race. To advocate colorblindness is to endorse an ethical principle: The colorblind principle: we should treat people without regard to race, both in our public policy and in our private lives. Coleman Hughes, The End of Race Politics: Arguments for a Colorblind America1 (p. .. MORE

Economics Works

By David R. Henderson

The Liberty Classic title Economics Works is a double entendre. One meaning refers to many of the more important articles by Armen Alchian, such as those contained in Economic Forces at Work: Selected Works by Armen A. Alchian.1 The other meaning is that economics works: economics explains much of the world. The second meaning sums up .. MORE

America’s Animal Spirits

By Samuel Gregg

A Book Review of Animal Spirits: The American Pursuit of Vitality from Camp Meeting to Wall Street, by Jackson Lears.1 When Alexis de Tocqueville visited the young American republic in the early 1830s, he immediately noticed a deep restlessness which characterized the Americans that he encountered. In the America witnessed by Tocqueville, … a man .. MORE

If I Were a Market Monetarist

By Arnold Kling

The central problem in monetary policy is that the variables that a central bank can easily control on a day-to-day basis, such as the fed-funds rate, the monetary base, and the price of gold, do not reliably correlate with the things we care about, such as the CPI, unemployment, and nominal GDP. –Scott Sumner, The .. MORE